The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2020.07.08

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics.

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I missed out on a couple of these items as I was getting back home and getting settled. Avalanche-Journal’s Don Williams reports that Texas Tech athletes signed an acknowledgement and consent form before returning to campus. Williams has the body of the text:

“I further understand there is inherent risk of contracting COVID-19 with training, practice, and participation in intercollegiate athletics and related activities,” the consent form reads. “I acknowledge that I have access to specific educational materials pertaining to COVID19, including: background of the virus, how it spreads, proper personal hygiene, and new policies and procedures set by TTU athletics to mitigate risk. I acknowledge that if I do not follow these safeguards I will not be allowed into any TTU Athletics facility until given permission by designated TTU medical staff.”

I’m actually okay with this as it is not a waiver of liability or rights of the player, but an acknowledgement that the athletes acknowledge the aspects of living with COVID-19.

Avalanche-Journal’s Don Williams also reports that single game tickets for the football season are on hold. Also very reasonable.

At the end of business last week, Tech had sold a little more than 22,900 football season tickets, senior associate athletics director Robert Giovannetti said Monday. Tech also reserves seats in the stadium for students. That number last year was 13,420.

“If we’re at 50 percent capacity,” Giovannetti said, “then we’re getting pretty close right now. So right now the plan is to table (sales of) single-games until we have a better answer of what’s going to happen in the stadium.”

CBS Sports’ David Cobb recaps the transfers who are waiting approval to be eligible next season and Texas Tech has three, however, it is my understanding that Jamarius Burton is not seeking a waiver and wants to set ou this upcoming year:

The Red Raiders are going to look different — and likely be better — even if their transfers do not receive immediate eligibility. But Chris Beard snagged three high-profile players out of the portal who could be especially helpful if they are eligible. Former VCU big man Marcus Santos-Silva is expected to graduate in time to be classified as a graduate transfer. But if that falls through, his potential waiver case will be important for the Red Raiders’ hopes of making another deep NCAA Tournament run.

Getting former Georgetown guard Mac McClung and former Wichita State guard Jamarius Burton eligible immediately would also give Texas Tech two proven backcourt playmakers. This program is on solid footing either way, but its ceiling for the 2020-21 season would improve considerably if two of these transfers are eligible.

I’m not trying to be an alarmist, but I am getting increasingly concerned about the upcoming football season. Regardless of wherever you are on COVID-19, there’s obviously been some concern with the direction of things, so much so that the Ivy League postponed their football season until the spring. The Mercury News’ Jon Wilner has considered some alternatives to keep football season alive, mainly it is dismantle the non-conference schedule for the most part and then keep the schedule to conference games:

Let’s start that process right now: Forget the full slate of non-conference games. It’s not happening, and it shouldn’t happen.

The 12-game schedule hasn’t felt right since the pandemic began and has grown more complicated with virus spikes and positive tests — and with safety protocols that vary by the conference.

According to sources who spoke to the Hotline on the condition of anonymity, there is some support in multiple Power Five conferences for exploring a nine-plus-one schedule.

The model calls for nine conference games and one non-conference matchup against a regional opponent from the Group of Five or FCS.

The visitor could travel by bus, with the Power Five host supplying the necessary resources for testing and safety during game week.

After all, it would behoove any Big Ten or Pac-12 team to spend $25,000 or $50,000 to make sure its underfunded opponent wasn’t sending asymptomatic players onto the field.

But even the nine-plus-one model feels complicated and risky. The most reasonable scenario — the scenario that requires full attention right now — is a conference-only schedule.

I tend to think we’re headed this direction.

Via the Daily Toreador, the new law that says that international students attending on a visa must have at least one in-person class and I thought about the relative large international group of student-athletes that could be affected if there is not in-person options. I believe that both tennis and golf teams have international student-athletes and the men’s basketball team has international students, including Clarence Nadolny and Joel Ntambwe. Kind of amazing that when I first heard of that rule I immediately thought of student-athletes (I obviously realize that this affects more than just these students, but I am admitting that I am warped).

Here are some tweets.

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